DUST, Code 8, and Miami Vice

Are any of you familiar with DUST? I discovered it the other day, when I came across this short video, based on a Dark Horse comic.

“Number 13”

According to its YouTube channel (which I have now subscribed to),

“DUST is the first multi-platform destination for binge watchable sci-fi. We feature science fiction short films and other content from emerging filmmakers with stunning visual effects, captivating plots and complex character explorations. Robots, aliens, space exploration, technology, and human experience are all a part of DUST.”

Sounds pretty cool! In fact, I’ve watched four more and they were all quite interesting and well done. Some very creative and talented filmmakers out there! I just hope I have time to watch more in the future. There’s a website, and you can subscribe to the newsletter and watch the videos from there, if you don’t want to subscribe to the YouTube channel.

I came across another short film, this one by cousins Robbie and Stephen Amell, who I am sure you are familiar with from “Arrow”, “Flash”, and other genre productions. This is a project they put together with a couple friends and got crowdfunded. The setting is “a world where 4% of the population are born with some type of supernatural ability. Instead of being billionaire superheroes, most ‘specials’ live in poverty and resort to crime, forcing the police to become more militarized.”

Follow this link to the short…

Via an Indiegogo campaign, they were able to fund a full-length movie which began production on June 1st, 2017. The movie’s plot involves “Conner Reed (Robbie Amell) [as] a powerful young man who is struggling to pay for his ailing mother’s medical treatment. To earn money, he joins a lucrative criminal world [through] Garrett (Stephen Amell), who works for a drug lord (Greg Bryk).”

They promise “robots, superpowers, and a ton of badass action.” You can find out more about it at code8.com. Current estimated release date won’t be until 2018, possibly that December.

In other news,… it looks like “Miami Vice” may get another reboot, this time on TV. Vin Diesel’s One Race Television production company (working under a deal with Universal TV) has teamed with Chris Morgan Productions to develop the new series for NBC. (Morgan wrote six of the “Fast & Furious” films.) As per Variety,

“Peter Macmanus will write the script, based on the original series. While executive producers haven’t been set, it’s more than likely Macmanus, Morgan, and Diesel will all serve as EPs, along with more staffers from One Race TV and Chris Morgan Prods….”

There have been many reboots in recent years, some good (e.g., “Hawaii Five-O” and “MacGyver” series) and some disappointing (e.g., Miami Vice and The Dukes of Hazard films). And more are on the way (e.g., “S.W.A.T.”). I have mixed feelings about the studios mining so much old material, especially when they rarely retain the quality or charm of the originals. And then they cancel good, new stuff (e.g., “Almost Human”, “A.P.B.”)!

The original “Crockett & Tubbs”

As for this particular effort, I’m not sure we know enough to hazard a guess at what it might be like. On the one hand, having action veterans Diesel and Morgan at the helm is a good sign. On the other hand, the original “Miami Vice” was an iconic, groundbreaking show, with an amazing cast and tone that will be quite difficult to match. I mean, realistically, how can you ever find another Crockett & Tubbs with the chemistry and easy coolness of Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, or equal the quiet steeliness of ‘Lt. Castillo’ as portrayed by Edward James Olmos? Plus, much of the original’s identity is wrapped up in the music, fashion, and zeitgeist of the ’80s, such that I wonder if they’ll need to set the new series in the ’80s, too, just to give it a fighting chance.

At this point, I guess I’ll just say that I am curious and hopeful that they can at least put forth a decent product, even if they can’t quite capture the feel of the original.

P.S.  Here’s a fun article — especially for those of us old enough to remember watching the show — re some “Miami Vice” guest stars: “20 Huge Stars You Didn’t Know Were On Miami Vice”.

P.P.S.  There is a connection between the latter two items, btw. Sung Kang, who you will remember from a few of Diesel’s F&F movies, appears in Code 8.

Future Science: Redefining the Impossible

“Shields up! Ahead warp factor three, Mr. Sulu.”

“Aye, sir. Ahead Warp 3…”

The following are the (edited) opening paragraphs from a post I wrote a few weeks ago for my other blog. Naturally, I thought readers of this blog would be equally interested in the subject matter. So,…

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Physics_of_the_impossible_Kaku_2008If you are a science fiction buff like me, no doubt you enjoy all of the fantastic weapons, tools, and other gizmos at our heroes’ disposal. (Unless, of course, the story is about some sort of apocalypse or dystopia where such things are rare or non-existent.) I don’t know about you, but I would love to be able to teleport, time travel, or take a starship through hyperspace! But, we call these stories and the futuristic technologies used in them “science fiction” (or, “speculative fiction”, to use the old term) for a reason: it can’t be done. Or, at least, not yet.

A book I have been perusing lately is Physics of the Impossible (2008) by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. (You may have seen Kaku on one of his many appearances on science-related TV shows.) It’s an enjoyable read, and his references to pop-culture are fun, though he sometimes gets things slightly wrong. (For example, he states that Star Trek IV involves time travel back to the 1960s, when it was actually the 1980s. Typo? He also misunderstands how the universal translator device in Star Trek is supposed to work.)

From the Introduction:

“Time and again we see that the study of the impossible has opened up entirely new vistas, pushing the boundaries of physics and chemistry and forcing scientists to redefine what they mean by ‘impossible.’…

In this book, therefore, I divide the things that are ‘impossible’ into three categories.

The first are what I call Class I impossibilities. These are technologies that are impossible today but that do not violate the known laws of physics. So they might be possible in this century, or perhaps the next, in modified form. They include…”

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To read the entire article, please follow this link. Who knows? Maybe some of the other posts will strike your fancy, too….

Oh, and Happy New Year!!